• Henning Larsen wins Competition for Design of Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City

    30 June 2019

    Henning Larsen wins Major International Competition for the Design of Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City in China

    The Canyon is the spine of the entire district. It connects the Seafront seamlessly with the central park. It connects the basement levels of the district, which are all entirely dedicated to retail and sunken plazas.From 15 participants, three winners have been selected to collaborate in the design of a new 5.5 million m2 district that will become the new center of Shenzhen, a polycentric megacity of 20 million people. Henning Larsen is the only foreign team among the winners.

    Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City is poised to become the lightning rod for development in Shenzhen and the Greater Bay Area, the largest bay economy in the world. The area boasts a population of 70 Million people and includes other metropolises such as Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau. Often called China’s Silicon Valley, Shenzhen is home to a cohort of innovative tech giants such as Tencent, Huawei and ZTE.

    To establish Shenzhen as the Heart of The Greater Bay Area and cement its position as the leading innovation center of China, Henning Larsen envisioned an ambitious masterplan that shifts paradigms of Chinese urban planning and sets the standard for the green, sustainable and livable city of the Future China.

    Making Shenzhen a Waterfront city

    The existing business districts of Shenzhen were developed kilometers away from the seafront. The location of Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City offers a unique opportunity to repair a historic missed link between city and sea.

    “Our design aims to make Shenzhen the waterfront city it should always have been,” says Claude Godefroy, Partner and Design Director of Henning Larsen’s Hong Kong office. “To create an attractive waterfront we brought commercial and cultural facilities meters away from the seashore, so citizens will finally be able to enjoy the atmosphere of Shenzhen Bay in an activated urban environment, like in Sydney, Singapore or Copenhagen.”

    A Pedestrian City Centre

    Chinese planning authorities have prioritized vehicular traffic for decades, resulting in poor conditions for pedestrians in many Chinese cities, Shenzhen in particular.

    Henning Larsen’s design aims to create a pedestrian urban realm; cars are relegated to an extensive underground network of highways, roads and parking. “Most of the commuters’ cars will never surface in the district. This will change everything for the quality of the pedestrian experience and will be quite unique in China,” Godefroy adds.

    The pedestrian experience is central to any of Henning Larsen’s designs, and in this masterplan, the experience is considered holistically.

    For the centrepiece, building Henning Larsen envisioned a building typology for Shenzhen suitable for its climate and for our ambition to preserve an open pedestrian ground floor urban realm.For instance, all the basement levels of the district are interconnected in a network of retail arcades and sunken plazas, replacing the need for outsized shopping malls above ground. “Shopping malls act as black holes in the city, sucking all the life away from the public realm. We want to rebalance the dominating commercial activities of the city with more civic and culturally oriented activities in the urban realm.”

    In lieu of the massive shopping malls traditionally sitting beneath the tall buildings, Henning Larsen proposes a porous urban fabric composed of smaller buildings sitting in between the towers. At eye level, this urban typology offers a human scale with narrow alleys and small piazzas.

    A Cooler Part of Town

    The porous urban fabric also allows effective urban ventilation by making use of the sea breeze, which can contribute to cool the district significantly in the punishing heatwaves of the summer. Other measures to cool the district include 10.000 trees, roof gardens and whitewashed streets.

    “The success of this district depends largely on our capacity to reduce the heat in the public realm, especially when considering climate change,” Godefroy explains. “We know by experience that our initiatives can reduce the heat within the district by 5-8 degrees compared to the surrounding city. The added comfort level will encourage citizens to use the public realm.”

     Attracting the Talents of Tomorrow

    As the millennial generation reaches the age of independence, these young urban dwellers seek to take ownership of their homes and neighborhoods. Henning Larsen researched these aspirations and took steps to update the design of the public realm and create city that is relevant to the needs of future generations. These initiatives became additional “Cities” that were added to the masterplan: Nature City, Shared City, Smart City, Knowledge City, Art City and Leisure City.

    An Art City

    The initiatives of “Art City” aim to create a cohesive cultural experience throughout the masterplan. Each plot already needs to build 5-8% of their area as cultural program by law, but coordination is necessary to ensure complementarity of the different galleries and venues. In the public realm, art will be displayed in the streetscapes by themes (as in a museum) and large-scale art installations will attract attention from afar. The seafront will house larger cultural venues for performing arts and exhibitions. Furthermore, an ambitious plan to impose public and cultural venues at the pinnacle of the tallest towers will create “the Skyline of Art” and define the overall image of the entire district.

    A Shared City

    The sharing economy is increasingly changing workspaces and challenging the dogmas of what our cities should be. The Shenzhen Bay masterplan offers a range of shared working spaces in both dedicated buildings and integrated in the public realm. The dedicated co-work buildings are spread out in the masterplan and offer independent access, larger floorplates, internal atriums, and access to amenities such as coffee shops, gym, and shared meeting rooms.

    A Forest City

    An ambitious plan to plant 10.000 trees within the district would shade and cool the public realm, but also reduce air and noise pollution. Together with bioswales on ground level, the trees would provide a forest-like habitat for birds and insects.

    Henning Larsen will collaborate closely with other two winners and the government to refine the design and propose a coherent final masterplan vision. 

    For more information, please contact Henning Larsen:

    Theodora Lam, Business Development Director

    Tel.: +852 2657 0716  |  Email: [email protected]

    Dan Bjerg Hansen, Global Communications Director

    Tel.: +45 41277560  |  Email: [email protected]

    More Projects
    Danjiang Bridge construction begins – Taipei, Taiwan
    Construction has begun on the 950m Danjiang Bridge in Taiwan, the world’s longest single-mast, asymmetric cable-stayed bridge. Spanning the mouth of the Tamsui River that flows through Taipei, the 950m Danjiang Bridge is integral to the infrastructure upgrading program of northern Taiwan. The new bridge will reduce through-traffic on congested local roads by linking Highway 2 on the [...]
    Manuelle Gautrand Architecture unveils the Hyde Park Residence.
    The project consists of a total of 400 housing units located in Amsterdam, in the Hyde Park district, whose master plan was produced by MVRDV. The 400 homes are divided into nine buildings that make up “thematic” houses, and are organized around a landscaped island core. Each house is the object of a different architectural work, in its colors, its materials, its heights, its [...]
    Aggressive Expansion Of Bangkok’s Mass Transit Rail Network
    Bangkok’s Real Estate Market Set For Growth With Aggressive Expansion Of City’s Mass Transit Rail Network. Thailand’s leading mass transit condominium developer, Ananda Development taps into a rail network that will more than triple from 90 to 286 stations by 2030 for 466km of track – making it longer than the London Underground or New York Subway. Bangkok, 12 February 2019 [...]
    Morphis & WilkinsonEyre win international design competition at Shenzhen Bay, China
    Landscape architect Morphis and architect WilkinsonEyre, have won a major international competition for a 6.3ha urban design and masterplan project in the Greater Bay area of Shenzhen, southeastern China. Commissioned by the Shenzhen Government, the Shenzhen Bay Avenue East Extension will create a 1km multi-layered pedestrian connection, shaping the future of the city’s urban fabric to form [...]
    Bjarke Ingels Group completes 79&PARK, Stockholm
    The 25,000m2 wooden hillside at the edge of Stockholm’s treasured national park Gärdet celebrates its official opening together with the city’s tallest new structure, OMA’s Norra Tornen. Both buildings were inaugurated today by BIG Founding Partner Bjarke Ingels, Mayor of Stockholm Anna König Jerlmyr, City Architect Torleif Falk, CEO of Oscar Properties Oscar Engelbert and OMA Partner [...]
    Aedas-designed urban complex Hong Leong City Center opens
    Aedas-designed Hong Leong City Center in Suzhou, China, recently opened its doors. As the first commercial project developed in China by Singapore-listed City Developments Limited, this mixed-use urban development in Suzhou Industrial Park offers hotel, office, retail, and serviced apartments programmes with a 150-metre hotel and office tower, a 150-metre SOHO tower, two 100-metre residential [...]
    Modernist circumstance, industrial roots
    Architectural and interior design studio Spawton Architecture has modernised a half-century old industrial building in a working-class neighborhood to enable the possibility of multiple functions – office, F & B, retail, co-working space, art gallery, gym and spa – all under one roof. Artisan Hub, as this new commercial development is called, sits at the heart of San Po Kong, which [...]
    People-Powered Places
    Celebrating 40 years of crafting mixed-use developments, some of the key thinkers at Jerde reflect on why sunny Californian optimism works so well in Asia    (Santa Monica Place, California Central Courtyard) If you need convincing that our environment shapes who we are, look no further than Jerde. For 40 years – happy birthday, Jerde – the architecture practice and [...]
    DLN develops visionary office space and creative education facilities
    Founded in 1972, DLN Architects (DLN) is a respected world-renowned architectural practice with a diversified portfolio, and a leading industry pioneer in Hong Kong and Asia. DLN’s name is synonymous with many iconic architectural projects, from mixed-used projects to large-scale integrated designs, creating significant value for customers through rendering of its outstanding design [...]